SEOUL, June 9 (UPI) — South Korea Wednesday called off the launch of a space satellite rocket hours before liftoff due to problems in the launch pad’s fire extinguisher system.
The launch of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), built with Russian cooperation, was set for 5 p.m. local time from the Naro Space Center, the Yonhap news agency reported.
But the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said the launch was suspended three hours earlier after a malfunction in the electrical system caused an abnormal release of liquids from all three fire extinguisher nozzles, the report said.
“The exact cause of why this has happened is being investigated by South Korean and Russian experts, although this may take time,” ministry spokesman Pyun Kyung-bum said, but added the fluids did not reach the rocket.
No date for a new launch will be announced until after the investigation, the report said.
Wednesday’s delay marked the fourth time since mid-2009 that the launch date of the locally assembled space rocket was pushed back, the report said.
Seoul and Moscow originally agreed to launch the rocket, built at a cost of more than $400 million, in July of last year, but the date was pushed back to Aug. 11 and then to Aug. 19, before the first Naro-1 unit lifted off on Aug. 25.
The rocket reached orbit but a malfunction prevented the placing of a scientific satellite into orbit.
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